Friday, January 30, 2009

Youth Ministry: Nobody Said it’d be Easy


So, I admit, it might be melodramatic and even hokey of me to put Coldplay's video "The Scientist" on a post about Youth Ministry but I can't help but think of that song right now. The song, I believe, is open ended enough to draw connections to a myriad of different life experiences. For me now, this song speaks truth of my experience in Youth Ministry the past few months.

When I first got into Youth Ministry years ago, if I am honest with myself, I didn't think it'd be much of a challenge. Sure, I said it out loud, I told people that it'd be tough but my heart never really believed my words. It didn't change throughout college, all the while Youth Ministry being in the back of my mind. And now that I am actually in it, the full weight of reality is bearing down upon me. Youth Ministry is not easy... if it's not difficult enough trying to shape the imaginations of students and to make deep spiritual connections with them, taking criticism from parents makes it all the more difficult to focus and do what God has called you to do. As if it's not difficult enough to get kids to understand what church and youth group are all about, parents and other adults within the church don't always share your vision. It's a whole other task feeling out, first of all, whether your vision is really what they hired you for and then trying to implement it and get people on board with it. When you're the only one who shares the vision, it might be impossible for things to work out.

I am discovering just how difficult and, not to be too frank, depressing this ministry can really be. But nobody said it'd be easy and nobody said it would be smooth sailing. All I can do is continue to do my best and to be myself.

For those of you with a big smile on your face, saying "yep, been there done that," thanks for the warning... for those who are at the beginning of the path looking down the long road of Youth Ministry, don't be discouraged, press on, but don't fool yourself into thinking you are prepared.

2 comments:

Brittany said...

I see where you are coming from. But let me say that as one of your former "students", you are definitely a great (brilliant, amazing..choose whatever word you please) teacher--you are very good at what you do. Like you said, don't be discouraged--press on. =)

WES ELLIS said...

Thanks Brit,
Lemme just say, my life would be easier if all the students in my group were just like you. But as Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" (Matt 9:12).